Eclipses: Using Shadows to Shed New Light
Sponsored by Jeanne Shaw in honor of Karen Shanor
From studying the solar corona to providing precise measurements of the orbit of an object in deep space, scientists continue to develop new uses for eclipses and transit nearly every year. With the recent total solar eclipse across the United States, scientists and non-scientists alike have been captivated by the knowledge gained when one astronomical body passes in front of another. Eclipses and transits are not unique to the Sun, Earth, Moon and other bodies in our solar system. Similar phenomena occur between other stars and the planets and moons around them as well. It is possible to see transits of distant stars with telescopes on earth and satellites in space. Observing these phenomena provides a wealth of information about distant planetary systems. This presentation will describe three specific NASA projects that use shadows from eclipses and transits to shed new light on the cosmos.
About the Speaker
Thomas Zurbuchen is the Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Washington, DC. Previously, he was a professor of space science and aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and he was the university’s founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering. I
Tom's research has focused on solar and heliospheric physics, experimental space research, space systems, and innovation and entrepreneurship. He has been involved in a variety of NASA science missions, including Ulysses, MESSENGER, WIND, the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE), and the Solar Orbiter. He has been a member of two standing committees of the National Academy of Sciences, and has served on numerous science and technology definition teams for NASA missions.
Tom received the National Science and Technology Council Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and he is the recipient of four NASA Group Achievement Awards. He is sole, lead or co-author on more than 200 technical articles in refereed journals.
Tom earned an MS and a PhD in physics at the University of Bern in Switzerland.